Hezekiah asked Isaiah for advice
1 When King Hezekiah heard what they reported, he tore his clothes and put on clothes made of rough sackcloth because he was very distressed. Then he went into the temple of Yahweh and prayed.
2 Then he sent Eliakim, Shebna, and the ◄older/most important► priests, who were also wearing clothes made of rough sackcloth, to talk to me.
3 He said to them, “Tell this to Isaiah: ‘King Hezekiah says that this is a day when we are greatly distressed. Other nations are causing us to be insulted and disgraced. We are like [SIM] a woman who is about to give birth to a baby, but she does not have the strength that she needs to do it.
4 But perhaps Yahweh our God has heard what the official from Assyria said. Perhaps he knows that his boss, the King of Assyria, sent him to insult the all-powerful God, and that Yahweh will punish the King of Assyria for what he said. And the king requests that you pray for the few of us who are still alive here in Jerusalem.’ ”
5 After those men gave me that message,
6 I replied, “Tell the King, ‘This is what Yahweh says: “Those messengers from the King of Assyria have said evil things about me. But do not be disturbed by what they said.
7 Listen to this: I will cause Sennacherib to hear a rumor that the armies of Babylon are about to attack his country, and that will worry him. So he will return to his own country, and there I will cause him to be assassinated by men using swords.” ’ ”
8 The official from Assyria found out that the King of Assyria and his army had captured Lachish city and that they were attacking Libnah, which is a nearby city. So the official left Jerusalem and went to Libnah to report to the king what had happened in Jerusalem.
9 Soon after that, King Sennacherib received a report that King Tirhakah of Ethiopia was leading his army to attack them. So before King Sennacherib left Libnah with his army to fight against the army from Ethiopia, he sent other messengers to Hezekiah in Jerusalem with a letter. In the letter he wrote this to Hezekiah:
10 “Do not allow your god, on whom you are relying, to deceive you by promising you that Jerusalem will not be captured by my army.
11 You have certainly heard what the armies of the kings of Assyria have done to all the other countries; our armies have destroyed them completely. So, ◄do you think that you will escape?/do not think that your god will save you!► [RHQ]
12 Did the gods of the nations that were about to be destroyed by the armies of the previous kings of Assyria rescue them? Did those gods rescue Gozan region, and Haran and Rezeph cities in northern Syria, and the people of Eden region who were forced to go to Tel-Assar city?
13 What happened to the King of Hamath and the King of Arpad? What happened to the kings of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah cities? Did their gods rescue them [RHQ]?”
14 Hezekiah received the letter that the messengers gave him, and he read it. Then he went up to the temple and spread out the letter in front of Yahweh.
15 And then Hezekiah prayed this:
16 “O Yahweh, Commander of the armies of angels, the God to whom we Israelis belong, you are seated on your throne above the statues of the creatures with wings, above the Sacred Chest. Only you are truly God. You rule all the kingdoms on this earth. You are the one who created everything on the earth and in the sky.
17 So, Yahweh, please listen to what I am saying, and look at what is happening! And listen to what Sennacherib has said to insult you, the all-powerful God!
18 Yahweh, it is true that the armies of the kings of Assyria have completely destroyed many nations and ruined their land.
19 And they have thrown all the idols of those nations into fires and burned them. But they were not really gods. They were only idols made of wood and stone, and that is why they were destroyed easily.
20 So now, Yahweh our God, please rescue us from the power [MTY] of the King of Assyria, in order that the people in all the kingdoms of the world will know that you, Yahweh, are the only one who is truly God.”
Isaiah predicted that the Assyrians would not conquer Jerusalem
21 Then I sent this message to Hezekiah: “This is what Yahweh, the God to whom we Israelis belong, says: Because you prayed about what King Sennacherib of Assyria said,
22 this is what I say to him:
‘The people of Jerusalem despise you and make fun of you.
They will wag/shake their heads to mock you while you flee from here.
23 Whom do you think you have been despising and ridiculing?
Whom do you think you were shouting at?
Whom do you think you were looking at very proudly/arrogantly?
It was I, the Holy One whom the Israelis worship!
24 The messengers whom you sent made fun of me.
You said, “With my many chariots I have gone to the highest mountains,
even to the highest mountains in Lebanon.
We have cut down its tallest cedar trees
and its nicest pine/cypress trees.
We have been to the most distant/remote peaks
and to its densest forests.
25 We have dug wells in many countries and drunk water from them.
And by marching through [MTY] the streams of Egypt,
we dried them all up [HYP]!”
26 But I, Yahweh, reply, “Have you never heard that long ago I determined those things;
I planned them long ago,
and now I have been causing those things to occur.
I planned that your army would destroy cities
and cause them to become piles of rubble.
27 The people in those cities have no power,
and as a result they are dismayed and discouraged.
They are as frail as [MET] grass and plants in the fields,
as frail as grass that grows on the roofs of houses
and is scorched by the hot east wind.
28 But I know everything about you;
I know when you are in your house and when you go outside;
I also know that you are ◄raging/speaking very angrily► against me.
29 So, because you have raged against me
and because I have heard you speak very proudly/arrogantly,
it will be as though I will put a hook in your nose
and I will put an iron ◄bit/metal bar► in your mouth in order that I can lead you where I want you to go,
and I will force you to return to your own country,
on the same road on which you came here, without conquering Jerusalem.” ’
30 Then I said to Hezekiah, ‘This will prove to you that what I said will happen:
“This year, you(pl) will eat only the crops that grow by themselves,
and next year the same thing will happen.
But in the third year you will plant crops and harvest them;
you will take care of your vineyards and eat the grapes.
31 And you people who are still here in Judah,
will be strong and prosper again [MET].
32 A small number of my people will survive,
and they will spread out from Jerusalem [DOU].”
That will happen because I, the Commander of the armies of angels, am desiring very much to accomplish it.’
33 And this is what I, Yahweh, say about the King of Assyria:
‘His armies will not enter Jerusalem;
they will not even shoot arrows into it.
His soldiers will not march outside the city gates holding their shields,
and they will not build high mounds of dirt against the walls of the city
to enable them to attack the city.
34 And their king will return to his own country
on the same road on which he came here.
He will not enter this city!’
That will happen because I, Yahweh, have said it!
35 For the sake of my own reputation and because of what I promised King David, who served me well,
I will defend this city and prevent it from being destroyed.”
36 That night, an angel from Yahweh went out to where the army of Assyria had set up their tents and killed 185,000 of their soldiers. When the rest of the soldiers woke up the next morning, they saw that there were corpses everywhere.
37 Then King Sennacherib left and returned home to Nineveh in Assyria, and stayed there.
38 One day, when he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his two sons, Adrammelech and Sharezer, killed him with their swords. Then they escaped and went to the Ararat region northwest of Nineveh. And another of Sennacherib's sons, Esarhaddon, became the King of Assyria.